Foreign and Egyptian banks in Egypt are becoming active partners in the field of oil and petrochemical industries thanks to the high profitability and economic viability of these projects.
Recently, a group of banks — the National Bank of Egypt, Banque Misr, the Commercial International Bank (CIB), the Arab Bank and National Société Générale Bank (NSGB) — extended a loan of $380 million which covers 40 per cent of the total cost of the $950 million Ammonia/Urea plant to be established in Damietta.
The investment cost of the total petrochemical complex in Damietta is estimated at $1.5 billion. Petroleum sector companies will account for 33 per cent of the shares, the Canadian Agrium company — 60 per cent and the APRICORP for Petroleum Investment — seven per cent. Once completed, the project will contribute some 1.3 million tons of Ammonia/Urea annually and it will provide some 2,500 direct and indirect job opportunities.
"The enthusiasm of international finance corporations and reputable companies reflects their trust in the project," said Sameh Fahmy during the signing of the bank loan on 26 June.
According to Fahmy, a new criterion has been implemented to calculate the price of natural gas for the project. Fahmy underlined that no ceiling for the price of natural gas has been set, "a factor that will increase the profitability of the project, particularly if the price of international fertilisers goes up," he said.
It is worth noting that Canadian investment in the petrochemical sector in Egypt has reached $2.5 billion. A second Egyptian-Canadian project for producing menthol has also been completed.

(Al Ahram Weekly)